keep in sight of the One hundredth. The battery marching in a parallel line on my left found much difficulty in making its way over the rocks and through the timber, and the enemy's fire was rapidly approaching nearer and increasing in rapidity. At this time we received orders to double-quick, which tended much to increase the excitement of the moment, the artillery dashing along against trees and over stones at a headlong rate. The One hundredth rapidly gaining the rear, first by a left oblique, and then by the rear rank, and the growing unsteadiness of my own men made me extremely anxious for the issue. I immediately fell back from the head of the column to gain a position on its left flank, as it was now very sensibly inclining to the rear, but at the same moment a mass of fugitives from the front struck my command on its right flank, and, becoming completely mingled with it, carried the whole to the rear about 50 or 75 paces into a corn-field before we could extricate ourselves and to the front, and ordered to charge back into the woods. It was gallantly done, but revealed an extended rebel line rapidly approaching and already considerably advanced on my right. I immediately retired my regiment to low ground in the corn about 200 paces from the edge of the timber from which we had emerged and just at the foot of the hill in our rear, but finding myself supported neither on the right nor left, and the position being untenable by reason of timber 150 yards to the right from which the enemy was already firing upon me-striking down several of my men, and Lieutenant Hoge, commanding Company H-I retired half way up the hill to a fence now parallel to my line.
Rallying behind this, I hoped, which the support of several batteries posted on the crest of the hill several hundred yards above and another regiment rallied under cover of the same fence row with mine 100 yards to my left, to hold the position. Captain Baldwin, of Colonel Buell's staff, here joined me and assisted in rallying the men of various commands who were falling back from the woods below.
He could give me no information of Colonel Buell's whereabouts. I remained at this fence about fifteen minutes, maintaining and receiving a steady fire. The enemy in front was held in the timber below, but meeting no opposition he advanced on the right under cover of a tongue of timber stretching part way up the hillside, and being entirely hidden from view by the weeds and bushes along a fence row perpendicular to my line and at the edge of the timber, had almost turned my right flank before he became visible. At the same time I discovered the regiment on the left had fallen back before a heavy line advancing on its left, and that the guns above were being retired. I promptly fell back rapidly, but in tolerable order, halting for a moment in rear of the Eighth Indiana Battery; but the enemy had already gained the timber crowning the prolongation of the ridge to the right, and scarcely 150 yards distant, from which position he had forced back a portion of the Thirteenth Michigan; he was also coming up in heavy lines on the left.
There was no support anywhere in sight; every man in the command saw and felt the hopelessness of attempting a stand at this point, and as the batteries were already moving off, finding it impossible to rally my command in any force, I fell back into the woods, assisting one of the batteries as we retired. The woods here were filled with fugitives from various commands (utterly disordered,
43 R R-VOL XXX, PT I